Boulder County’s high intellectual capital means good pay for many, but not all
The creative path to homeownership
It was no easy feat for Francisca Amaya to buy a house in Longmont.
She, her two kids and her mother lived in a trailer before the 2013 flood hit. With flood relief money she received, she and her mother began looking for a home with her Realtor Marta Loachamin of ERA Tradewind Real Estate in Longmont.
As home prices in Boulder County rise, Loachamin said being a Realtor can be about “figuring out how we can be creative.”
What's it like to be poor?
Eliberto Mendoza, division manager of Boulder County Community Action Programs, does a poverty simulation every year for the volunteers in the Circles program, that pairs “leaders” in the community – those in need – with “allies” who work with them on the goals they set.
The Circle leaders, who experience the difficulties of poverty, pose as social workers in various agencies, bankers, homeless shelter employees, pawn shop owners and others.
“We tell the Circle leaders, ‘Treat people as you have been treated,’” said Mendoza, who is also a Community Foundation Trustee.
How the Circles program helped one woman change her life
Kat Goldberg was 39 when her husband died of an overdose.
He had become addicted to prescription drugs after being hit by a drunk driver. They had been separated, and she had placed a restraining order against him before he died.
She had three kids, 5, 6 and 9, to raise alone. Her middle son is autistic, and she couldn’t find a daycare that would take him. They were living in Lafayette off her late husband’s Social Security.
More to homelessness than meets the eye
Mention the homeless and some may think of someone holding a witty sign at a busy intersection.
What many don’t realize is that more than 1,200 children in 2017 were registered as homeless in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley Schools. Add in the 0-5 population not picked up in those numbers, and the estimate grows to 1,500 Boulder County kids going through an episode of homelessness each year.
The long road home
Sarah Marquez, 34
Where she was: “I was addicted to substances for a very long time. That led me to losing my kids and my family. I went down a road of committing crimes. That led me to drug court. They weren’t able to find a placement. That led me to a halfway house.”
Working together to help the homeless
A key tenet of the Community Foundation’s approach to catalyzing community is the recognition that we accomplish more together than we do alone. To tackle local homelessness, the foundation facilitated teamwork through its Boulder Homeless Service Collaborative among grantees serving our homeless community – the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, and Bridge House.
The collaborative first convened in late 2013 to explore ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of interrelated emergency and transitional services for homeless adults.
We remain home to one of the state’s largest achievement gaps between Latino and Anglo students. The disparities start early, before children even enter school.